May 28, 2013

Baby beet soup (botwinka)

It was one of the few times, when I called my mom for a recipe. My mom's ego is bigger than mine but my appetite is bigger than the two ego's combined.

So, I let the good powers win, called Her probably four times asking about secrets of making this very traditional Polish soup, and ended up with a refreshing, fantastic lunch. Just like the one we had every Spring growing up.

There are only a couple of weeks a year when it's possible to make this soup. The beets have to be the right size, not too big and not too small. Too big - and the soup will have to be cooked longer and therefore loosing the fresh taste. Too small - and there wouldn't be any color.  

Before I asked my mom about the details, I got a couple of hints at the market, from the lady I buy all my veggies from. She suggested to add two older, bigger beets for extra color. I told my mom about it. She said she knew.

The funny thing was that just after I took the ready soup off the heat, it looked more like a tomato dish. Not deep red but deep orange. I got a bit disappointed, went away with a sad face. I came back after 30 minutes, a bit hungry after all, looked in the pot. The soup magically (or not) gained the right color. It looked right and it tasted right. Simple, from the fields, with the flavor of greens and roots blending together, it was unlike any soup I'll be eating this year. And that's exciting.

Recipe by me
time: 30 min


  • 1 bunch baby beets, with leaves and roots, about 300 g (about 1/2 lb) 
  • 2 medium red beets (last year's), peeled and cut in half
  • 2.5 l (10 cups) chicken broth (or water, or some water and some broth)
  • 300 g (1/2 lb) potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or more if needed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Wash well baby beets. Chop them with a big knife.
  2. In a medium pot, pour in chicken broth. Add 2 red beets. Slowly bring it to boil and cook for about 10 minutes with a lid slightly open. Remove the beets. Add potatoes. Cook on medium/low for 10 minutes. Add chopped baby beats. Cook for 15 minutes. 
  3. Take a ladle full of soup and pour it into a small bowl. Add cream and mix. Add the cream mix into the soup. Add lemon juice. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper or more lemon juice. Serve and enjoy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment